Caroline May, Breitbart, March 24, 2016
The number of immigrants denied admission to the U.S. as legal permanent residents due to their risk of becoming primarily reliant on welfare for subsistence has plummeted since the late 1990s, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Foreigners seeking admission to the U.S. or adjustment of status to a legal permanent resident (or green card recipient) are technically considered inadmissible if they are deemed likely to become a “public charge,” or primarily reliant on government assistance.
In a report prepared for Congress, CRS details how the determination of inadmissibility due to likely indigence once admitted to the U.S., as a share of denials, has declined over the past two decades as reason for inadmissibility among applicants for legal permanent residency.
“Until FY2005, public charge exclusions were the leading grounds of inadmissibility over the 21- year period [from 1994 to 2014] for the trend analysis of inadmissibility for LPRs shown in Figure 15,” the CRS report reads. “More recently, prior removals/illegal presence has become the top single ground of inadmissibility, followed by labor certification. Increased Section 212(a) denials based on other immigration law violations are depicted at the right among ‘all other.”
While immigrants once in the U.S. can be prosecuted for violating the “public charge” rule, it is rarely prosecuted in practice. For example in FY 2012 the Department of Homeland Security prosecuted zero public charge cases.